CCS brings Skalaski to discuss job search

Published: January 26th, 2009

Category: News

When economic times are tough, students need to market themselves differently.

Career Services is bringing in legal job experts over the next couple weeks to help students land the job of their dreams – even in the current recession.

Ann Skalaski, a legal recruiting consultant, will speak on Jan. 28, in the Chesterfield Smith Ceremonial Classroom (HOL180) about managing your job search in an economic downturn.

On Feb. 4, Kimm Walton, author of four legal job search books will head a program called “Guerrilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams,” also the title of one of her books.

“You’ll come away from these programs with concrete tangible things that you can do right then and there,” said Linda Calvert Hanson, assistant dean for career services. “You will be so excited about getting started and encouraged.”

Skalaski was the assistant dean for career services at UF Law from 1991-1996. Before that, she worked at Holland & Knight, LLP as the director of attorney recruitment and as the firm’s first attorney development manager.

In a down market, law students have to use different strategies to market themselves, which Skalaski will explain in depth, Calvert Hanson said.

Walton has spoken at UF Law before and has been a big hit with students, Calvert Hanson said.

“[Walton] just does an outstanding job of really inspiring and motivating people, as [her book] says, regardless of your grades, your school, or your work experience,” Calvert Hanson said. “The students connect to her. We will come out after the program and she will stay there and talk to them for hours afterwards. She will talk to them one-on-one; she will answer each and every person’s questions.”

After these two programs, on Feb. 5 (2Ls and 3Ls) and Feb. 6 (1Ls), Dr. Martha Peters will speak about discovering your ideal career through self-assessment.

Calvert Hanson anticipates that this program will help students figure out ideal careers for themselves. Many students are not sure what they would like to do, and many alumni are not happy with their jobs because during law school they did not take the time to identify their values and learn about the type of work environments in which they will thrive and find career satisfaction, Calvert Hanson said.

“Our society today is just on such a fast track that you’re kind of almost programmed: ‘OK, I’ve got to get through undergrad, I’ve got to get through law school, and then I have to get a job,’” Calvert Hanson said. “You hardly ever have a chance to stop and think about what is going to make you happy, what is going to be rewarding and fulfilling for you.”

Career Services put these programs in place to help guide an anxious student body toward their career goals.

“What we’re really finding with the students right now is that we have a group who are what we call ‘the deer-in-the-headlights.’ They’re just kind of like, dazed and ‘Oh my gosh, what am I going to be doing?’ (mostly 1Ls). The 2Ls are more resigned, and the 3Ls right now are really eager to do something. They really want to do something, but they don’t know what. These programs that we’re going to provide are going to help give them the next step.”

Be sure to read the CCS Buzz each week for up-to-date information on programming, recruiting, networking and volunteer and “SHIP” opportunities available through the Center for Career Services.